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Ask DSM Readers: How Do You Deal with Tough Cashiers?

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 20, 2010 · 183 comments

Coupons & Cashiers

Every Thursday I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

If you've been couponing for very long, chances are you've come across a tough cashier -- one who acts like you're wasting their time or doing something illegal, who huffs and puffs as they scan your coupons or, worse, says that they can't accept coupons that you know are valid and acceptable under the store's policy. Running into too many of these types of cashiers can make couponing an awful experience instead of an enjoyable one, and more than one couponer has quit because they prefer to avoid confrontation.

So how do you deal with tough cashiers? Do you have tips to spot them and avoid them altogether? What do you do to try to "set the mood" before you check out? How do you handle their bad attitudes or refusal to accept coupons?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

{ 183 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jennifer May 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I avoid places more than certain cashiers. My target will take a crumpled up dirty sheet of paper, even if it won't scan, and enter the numbers. Everyone says thank you!
walmart and my grocery store however are horrible, and one of the free milk with milk coupons the cashier manager actually came up and nicely accused me of fraud! I will never go to that store again, thank you. Dillons in my area too is wonderful, and try to 'get my deals'. I think the different stores in different areas are open to coupons, others are not.

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2 leah May 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Sadly I'v been to cvs SO often that I know the cashiers and workers, and know who to go to, and who not to, so that they will take my coupons. I have been accused of fraud also, such as copying a coupon that was Printed off from the printer!!!!! my printer was low on ink!!!! *sighing*, Publix I also recognize the people (and the managers), walmart I dont go to very often, but they have taken my coupons thus far, I do try and pick the happiest and most 'nice looking' cashier :), target is the same way!!!
But thats about it!!!
~Leah

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3 Steve Zussino May 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Some stores just are tough with coupons.

Some chains are more open to these and the cashiers are friendlier.

I seem to find that younger cashiers are not as passionate when it comes to saving money so they can care less about the cashing of coupons. Some older cashiers do not like to redeem coupons.

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4 Cammy May 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I just want to second the lady above. I live in Idaho and Walmart is terrible to do couponing with. I just try to avoid them at all costs. We have a Target, Winco and Fred Meyer are all great. I have even had Fred Meyer override the cash register just to make my coupons work. You just have to know the store and their friendliness.

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5 Cammy May 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Sorry, one more great place is also Walgreens. I have them usually help me. They go out of their way to make sure I am getting the best deal.

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6 Terri M May 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

This may sound cliche but I say a prayer for the grumpy cashier because chances are they have their own baggage they bring with them to the job. As hard as it is I try to get THEM excited about the deals I'm getting by sharing the websites, like Deal Seeking Mom, that I found the awesome deals on. Sometimes the poor cashier is just jealous! ;) I had a sticky situation at Walgreens with a coupon/sale match deal where I was getting Excedrin for 50 cents a bottle and was talked to as if I was pulling on over on the company. By the time I left the woman was writing down your website and talking to my kids like they were her grandchildren. Sometimes the "kill 'em with kindness" tactic works wonders. If that doesn't work however I try to stand my ground by calling over a manager POLITELY and pleaing my case. I've discovered that cashiers are much more willing to help out a patient yet persistent customer rather than an angry, huffy one.
ps in theory i'd like to have hard copies of every stores coupon policy but haven't gotten that in order yet.

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7 Traci May 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I shop regularly at both Publix and Target in the ATL area and every so often, I come across a hostile or mis-informed cashier. Those folks act as if I am "pulling something over on them", especially when I use a manuf. Q and a store Q and I feel defensive. The irony is not lost on me--their own store printed a store Q and they are giving me a hard time for using it? I politely yet firmly ask for a manager and if it holds up the line, so be it. I have gotten tougher and I make no apologies for doing my homework when it comes to shopping. For the most part, I have a good experience but I still have those times and I remain calm and polite. If I have more Qs than products to purchase (ex. stacking a manuf Q and a store Q), then I will proceed directly to the front of the store/customer service so they can ring my purchase!

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8 Lori Lawrence May 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Great question! I can't wait to find out how others feel about these sour cashiers!
I just try to be pleasant & smile. I'm not argumentative, but firm. Only one time when I had too many Qs at Walmart, the mgr took them to her "office" & scrutinized them. While I stood there with a cashier who was disgusted with the mgr & there were people waiting in line. She came back & rejected a few, because she said that I couldn't use the same coupon twice even though I bought two items. The cashier said after she left that didn't make any since, because all I would have to do is come through the line again!
Speaking of Walmart -- I have to return a few items from last week. I used coupons on a few of them. What is the policy of returning with a receipt, but a coupon may have been used on it? Walmart's Qs are at the end of the receipt, not itemized like Target. Quite frankly, I don't remember what had a Q & what didn't.
Thanks for letting me share & I apologize for such a lengthy msg. Great topic, Tara!

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9 Becky May 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I have not had too many problems with cashiers being mean, but I always go to the cosmetics counter at Walgreens to check out and they are so much nicer there. I do that so I don't make people wait behind me. I did have one woman at my grocery store that was consistently condescending and RUDE about couponing and to me in general. I would just avoid her unless that was impossible and then kind of ignore her rude comments and try to be as cordial as possible as to not add flame to the fire. After about five different encounters I finally talked to the manager and they said they had been getting complaints about her, so I suppose they dealt with it.

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10 jason d May 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I will NOT go to walmart any longer after my last visit it was horrible, was told that a manager was not available to authorize my coupon. I have NEVER had a problem at Target, if my coupons or more that the price of the item, and the other day i bought 10 things that way, they altered the value of the coupon. I do all of my grocery shopping at Giant Eagle and i have been going to my local store for over 5 yrs now so both my wife and i know which cashiers to avoid. There are none that give us a hard time about using coupons or the amount we have with us, they just dont seem ok with scanning an extra 20 or 30 items. There are really only 2 or 3 cashiers that we are uncomfortable with all the rest of the employees know us because they all love our 3 boys and are always commenting about our savings after everything is totaled. CVS has to be the MOST coupon friendly store i have ever been to, the cashiers have suggested to me to ring in 2 or 3 transactions so i could use my ECB on the other items in my cart. Once i can recall buying some CVS brand tums and the cashier sall that i had a Tums brand coupon in my hand (which i had no intention on using, the cost of generic was better than that of brand w/ the coupon) and mentioned that i could use it. that person prolly should not have done it, it has never happened again but it just goes to show how coupon friendly my CVS employees are.

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11 maria May 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

its hard to tell if they will give me hard time but I have had a few and I hate to be that Coupon lady holding up the line but I do my research just like we all do to get the most savings. I have as well been accused of coping the coupons because they are printable I just simply remind them copies of coupons would not have a watermark and they accept.

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12 Terri M May 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

ps this also might sound weird but male cashiers are MUCH less petty than females so I usually hit them up if I'm in a store I am not familiar with cashiers or where all I seem to see is disgruntled looking employees. :)

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13 Amanda May 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I totally agree. Teenage boys especially-- I always scope out the cashiers before I head to get my first item. I've walked out of the store already if it looks as if all the cashiers are going to be tough. Middle-aged women seem to be the toughest. I had one yesterday tell me "but you are only paying $.01 for this body wash (gasp) and I said "I know, isn't that great!" and she looked at me as if I were trying to rob the store.

Also, if that is not an option, I always try to be friendly right from the start, and say something like "this is going to be the best deal ever" and start talking about how much money it will safe.

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14 Jenna May 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

yes yes yes!

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15 Heather May 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I LOVE that your doing this, because I have came across these tough cashiers quite frequently lately!!!!!

They can be discouraging, but the friendly cashiers make up for it :) I love when your total goes from $40.00 down to $5.00 and they ask wow, how did you do that??!!

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16 cc3 May 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I learn by trial and error, if I have 2 bad experiences I never set foot in that store agin.

I have been VERY fortunate with my local Target - never had any problems! CVS - some take every coupon, expired ECBs, and even give rainchecks WITH ECBs for out-of-stock items, some refuse good legitimate coupons so I only go to certain CVSs.

Walgreens, however, is just AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL!!! There are 4 between my home and work, I now only go to one (and only on occasion) and refuse to ever set foot in the other 3 ever again (one had a cashier and manager who basically accused me of trying to steal from them by using coupons that got me items for a few cents and for free). Also, only 1 of the 4 will take coupons on RR items (I have been told that you can not buy an item with a coupon and get a RR - even though a lot of the weekly ads clearly state that you can find extra savings in your Sunday paper!!)

My rule is this: If a store will not take my coupons I ask for the manager, politely speak with them, offer to call corporate for them on my cell and if they are rude or accusatory or just refuse to take my coupons I leave everything on the counter, leave my cart and politely tell them that I am sorry they do not want my business and I leave. I will give a store 2 tries - after the second time I never shop there again.

I shop non-sale items and non-coupon items at these stores as well so they are losing a good chunk of business. Not that they care. But that is my story - looking forward to reading the experiences of others!

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17 Bridget May 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

In high school I was a cashier at a large chain store and I would have my bad days just like anyone else so I try to remember that maybe they're just having a bad day. That being said some cashiers are just horrible to go to no matter when you come across them. I try to go to young guys. I've never had a problem going to a young man cashier, they're just there to pay they're bills and they could care less how many coupons I have or how many things are coming up free. They're just waiting until they get to go home :). I find older women give me the most trouble even after I've shown policies and they've asked for help from a manager.

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18 Kelli May 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

First and foremost, I make sure that I have the correct product for the coupon. If the product I want is different than the one pictured I make sure the coupon clearly states that it is good on all varieties. I also make sure that I smile and am friendly. I know that scanning coupons is tetious, and it is part of their job but I want to at least be a likeable person, then they are less likely to think of me badly to begin with. I also offer the coupons right away before the cashier starts scanning food. I smile and say something like "I know sometimes the stores like you to cross check the coupons with my groceries and make sure I have everything correct before you start." This sets the cashier at ease, she can tell I'm not trying to pull a fast one and that I understand that because of my coupons its going to take a little bit longer. Finally, when its all over and they tell me what I've saved I say "Thank for your help! In this economy every bit helps." It makes the cashier feel like their extra effort is worth it and that they accomplished something too.

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19 Terese Plumridge May 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I have the store coupon policies printed and in my purse and Target's cooperate headquarters Phone number in my phone. You just call on the spot and teach the darn cashier a lesson on their stores policies. Target has approved this action and gave the number for our use. (1-800-440-0680)

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20 Lisa May 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm

If I know 100% I am right I calmly state my case. It is hard when I have a 2 year old and 4 month old who are wanting to leave. I have some "lines" is use that can turn a non - knowledgeable person around. My favorite one I hear from a cashier is "you are getting it for free" ... If it isn't done with a snotty attitude I just smile, but if it is said in a manner that I feel is doubting what I am doing is right - I say... "Not really. I am "paying" with money the manufacture has given me in the form of a coupon. Just because it isn't green doesn't mean your store is giving me the product" That will either end the attitude (they realize I picked up on the way I was being treated) or it opens up the door for some conversation.

We all have that chain or location that we have issues with. I try to give it 3 shopping attempts before I move on. I don't let a cashier tell me what i am doing wrong and let their word be it. I go to the manager and some times regional manager to make sure we are all on the same page. I tell the cashiers at Rite Aid (since that is my problem store) that I understand that they are trying to do their job and it isn't fair the policy always changes but I want to make sure we are all doing what is correct and THEY are not losing a customer. I find as long as I don't attack when I ask for clarification I usually get it.

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21 Sara May 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I agree, Terri...male cashiers are almost always nicer and more likely to take coupons than female ones in my experience (sadly).

I'm always friendly to the cashiers from the get go and try to remain polite even when there is a disagreement. If a cashier won't see my side of the argument and accept a legit. coupon, I usually just have them take the item off my total and give me my coupon back. Then I go to customer service to discuss the issue...that way I'm not holding up the line and making a scene. If that doesn't work, then I take my business elsewhere!

I have also learned to pick my battles. I gave up using coupons for trial-size items at my Target store long ago because they just REALLY do not want to take them. It's not worth the argument for me!

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22 megan May 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

The cashiers at our target in Lake Charles make me feel guilty every single sticking time I go. Just yesterday I held up the line for about 10 minutes because my cashier was being a pain, even though I know the policys and had exactly one target coupon and one manuf. coupon per item. Then the women refused to give me back the coupons when I told her that I no longer wanted the items that she would not let me use the coupons on- needless to say our Target does not know anything about coupons!!!! I only wish there was another one close because I would never step foot in that one again-

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23 Shelly T. May 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm

She did not have the right to keep your coupons if you did not purchase the items! Did you go to the manager and tell them you want them back? I think this would have been the time to call corporate. I feel for you. I only have one Target to shop at, and I have to pick my cashiers. There is one that I try to avoid at all costs, but sometimes she is the only one available.

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24 alex May 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I smile and ask for a manager if they give me a hard time. I am not doing anything illegal so they have to tolerate what I am using. to rub it in, i'll go out of my way to have them as a cashier the next time. People hate it when you smile and treat them with kindness once they have done something wrong to you.

alex

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25 Willow Marie May 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Being a cashier at Walgreens, I HATE it when people compliment you first thing and when you get to the coupons on their order,they have expired coupons, or too many/not the right ones for their items. I have found with those people they think you will force their coupons through, or risk their job by accepting expired coupons just because they complimented me. That really pisses me off because they make it so obvious! Plus, I do see a LOT of scammers come through my lines. But on the other note, I don't mind high coupon orders, because I do the same! As long as you know the rules, there is usually no problems. I even get suggestions by seeing how they pair diff. things together.

I know in the past year or two, there was a time when we couldn't accept printed internet coupons, but that did change. Also, there was, I think a tape coupon, that had been leaked on the web that more people got than were supposed to. So stores were not supposed to be accepting them because the manufacturer didn't have the money to cover all those extra printed coupons. As a result, the store that accepted it would have been the one losing money (because the stores get reimbursed).

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26 Shelly T. May 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Curious as to what kind of scammers you get?

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27 Melinda M May 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

There are certain stores in my area that I avoid because they aren't friendly to couponers. In fact, they are outright adversarial. And there are stores that are incredibly friendly - they get my business.

Part of it comes down to training. Some store managers just don't care. Some don't train their cashiers on coupons and what they are (and the fact that the store gets reimbursed). I've had a cashier tell me that she couldn't let me get what I was getting for the price I was getting because I wasn't paying enough.

A big part of it is to know the store's coupon policy. I know the policies. And I'll be firm, but polite. I will also ask to speak to a manager if needed. If I don't get help from a manager, I abandon my purchase and step outside to call corporate. When I talk to corporate, I politely let them know what is going on and the steps I've taken and what has been told to me by the store. Corporate cares - they get that it's easier to keep a customer than to get a new one.

A couple of cashiers, I outright avoid. I don't know how some of them (who are consistently rude) are allowed to work with the public.

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28 Patricia May 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

My Walgreens has a miserable cashier and Target too. It is very frustrating when they act like you're a criminal. I think it is just jealousy. I have told them you could do this too - the coupons are located at such and such site. It does make your shopping experience better if they cooperate!

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29 Annette Herbst May 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

The only place I have ever had trouble is at Walmart not just one Walmart but 3. I have to drive 30 minutes to get to one and 1 1/2 hr. to the others. I WILL not shop teh one that is closest to me. And I wont shop one of the others but I usually look for a clerk I have had before and pray that there isnt trouble. I always ask for a Manager if need be but that doesnt usually help. I have to say I am always looking for a new store because I feel Walmart doesn't care for it's customers. And I WILL not apologize for saving money for my family.

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30 Jenny May 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I make sure that all of the items I have coupons for are separated and at the FRONT of all my other items. That way the cashier can easily find what they need when it comes time to take off my coupons especially those freebies! I also make sure I have the correct item, size etc. I was a cashier for many years as a teenager so I know how it can be a tough job. They often appreciate the fact that I have gone out of my way to make it easier for them so are easier on me and my coupons!

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31 CJ May 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I usually give the cashier a little time to try to figure out the problem with the coupon, I ask her questions, I try to give her helpful hints about how it should work. If she's annoyed I'll apologize for the problems but I tell her that I know I'm using the coupon properly. If she really pitches a fit I politely remind her that I can void my whole order and take my money and my coupons elsewhere. Ultimately its that cashier and their store who decides whether they want my business or not. Fortunately I dont have major problems with my coupons, just an occasional one every once in a while.

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32 Jamie May 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Yesterday my mother and I had a hard time with a cashier @ Target. This Target was not my normal Target, so I was caught off guard by the rudeness and down right hostile attitude by the cashier. We both had Manuf. Q's and Store Q's and the cashier stated to my Mother that one of the coupons didn't print properly so therefore she could not use. I simply suggested to her to type in the information, and that's when she became irritated, called over a Mgr. who typed in the information. She slammed my mothers change and receipt on the counter. Upon my turn she did not scan all my double coupons, did not thank me or even look at me at the end of the transaction. I went to CS to request they correct this error and to inform them of this cashier and her lack of CS. They did refund me the difference of the missing coupons. Normally when I encounter these types of problem, I simply tell them to remove the item from my sale and I remind them of the lost sale.

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33 melissa May 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I have had my fair share of less than positive experiences due to uninformed employees. I always have the stores coupon policy handy. In stores like Wags and Kroger where there is not a corporate coupon policy I tend to just have the cashier void the item off. I can always buy it later. I've found that at Walgreens the cosmetic counter can be your best friend. At Target I look for young male cashiers. My biggest advice is simply laugh. It can be very easy to get upset when being accused of fraud and I'm sure it's happened to all of us. Also, call corporate not just for the bad experiences but ALWAYS call for the good ones. You can do it on your way home and it only takes a few moments. I also have my kids face the aisles as we shop. In the past I worked retail and it can be aggravating when kids destroy the store. I reward my kids with a little treat when we leave for being such good helpers. You almost always need a filler at Walgreens anyway. So, I buy them a Now n Later or a Tootsie Roll. I love the above comment about saying a prayer! That's awesome, great advice!

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34 Prudence May 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm

**Be polite and friendly
**Make sure I am using coupons correctly.
**I avoid older women cashiers and try to go to younger male cashiers
**I have had no problems at Walmart. I do everything I can to make the transaction go smoothly - try not to use of 40 coupons or over $50 worth of coupons and separate out the B1G1 products so the cashier can find the value easily.
**I used to have some trouble at Target but they have improved.
**I will now be avoiding Dollar General because they don't know what they are doing. I don't like hassle.

Lisa, I like your response to the uncooperative cashier. Does anyone else have any good lines?

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35 Heather May 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I have had some horrible experiences at WalMart but my local grocery store (Food Lion) is awesome! Some weeks I do awesome with coupons and others I do ok. And when I am too busy to get coupons together but have to get some things from the store my cahsier (I try to use the same cashier because she is awesome everytime I come in with a stack of coupons) looks at me and says no coupons today. Its funny that they know me so well. But they never give me trouble and always have a smile and never seem to have a problem with it. I try to avoid places that have problems with me using coupons unless I have to go there. And if I go to WalMart I try to look for the few cashiers that are polite when I use them or do self check-out. They have tried not to take a few coupons before but I always put up a fight and cause a scene! Hehe! Rite Aid is another one that I have a problem with. One cashier looks at me like I am low class because I use coupons and has an attitude when she has to scan them. Now I am young and I have 2 children but that shouldn't subject me to being low class or any less better than this person. I cannot stand people that think they are better than you because you use coupons. My husband makes plenty of money for us to live on, I just use the coupons to save money so we can one day build a house. And last I saw, statistics show that low class people are the least likely to use coupons.

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36 Jeanne May 20, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Thanks, everyone, I am learning from all of you, as well as DSM. I don't quite understand how 'stacking' coupons work, but appreciate all of your tips above and on prior posts.

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37 Amanda B May 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I have a sheet of notebook paper in my binder... When I encounter a bad cashier at a store I normally shop at I write down the name AND their description. I do the same if I have a great cashier who knows the 'real' rules. When I return to the store I look at that stores list of cashiers to refresh my memory and look for a certain cashiers. I avoid Wal Mart like the plague if I am couponing but like other posters said If I cannot avoid it (or there is a REALLY great deal) I looks for a younger male cashier because they could care less. I also have noticed that those cashier who are SUPER SUPER fast usually HATE coupons because they think it slows them down (as well as the super super slow cashiers because they are usually somewhat new and don't know how to handle them) . I look for a middle of the road cashier speed wise.

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38 Noemy May 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

If a cashier is giving me a hard time I ask him/her to cancel the transaction and I go straight to customer service (if none is available then I kindly ask to speak with a manager).
I always address them by their first name as it appears on their nametag. If the cashier is nice I'll say something like "hey thanks Megan, enjoy the rest of the afternoon" with a huge smile. If the cashier is not being nice I'll say "Sarah why don't you cancel the transaction and ask your manager to come over please." This usually fixes their additude. Once the manager comes over I'll say "Hey George, Sarah and I don't seem to agree on your coupon policy. Can you please clarify it for us so we understand." and so on and so on

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39 Becky Jensen May 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm

At my local grocery store I try to go in the evening when all the teens are working, they're much more easy going. By now they pretty much all know me. (In fact, if I got in without coupons they ask where they are!) They're so much easier to work with and they'll even say how great coupons are. It's the older ladies that work during the day that give me fits!

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40 susan May 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I do not have to shop with young children and the only store I ever have a problem with is Target...so I do SMALL transactions. If I have a lot to get I bring a purchase out to the car and go back in. I too always check size restrictions on Q's as well as expiration dates. I never hand a stack of Q's over at once. I had them over one at a time, they do not get the next one till I see the amount come off. I agree with checking out with a male cashier, even if they question the Q they are not usually mean about it so that does not bother me. These tips usually make shopping Target more enjoyable for me compared to when I first started.

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41 Jennifer May 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Ha ha! Great topic! My husband left me for a Wags and Wal-Mart checkout girl! (at different times) So I do not go to either of those stores! Which just makes since, because those are the ones everyone complains about! I did give Wags a go, but prob after prob, week after week, I said * it! I don't need this crap when I have CVS!

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42 Jennifer May 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Opps...I meant EX HUSBAND!

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43 Brenda May 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

He'd better be your EX with that kind of behavior! :)

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44 Jennifer May 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Guys are nice because we have boobs! Yes I go to the guys too! LOL

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45 Melody May 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I will never go to Target again. I've had my fair share of grumpy, uncooperative cashiers, but my last trip to Target trumped all of them. I had a new employee and someone who was training her. As the trainer instructed the new hire on how to enter coupons that won't scan she huffed and puffed and gave me dirty looks. Then as I was leaving (and in the back of my mind trying to absorb the situation and figure out why she was so offended by my transaction) I heard her tell the cashier "that's what you call a con artist right there" I called the manager the next day. He apologized and didn't seem surprised when I told him the cashiers name and what happened. A con artist for USING TARGET COUPONS with manufacturer coupons??? It's just beyond ridiculous.

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46 jill May 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

First off, (and this is going to sound sexist, so I will apologize in advance!) I shoot for getting male cashiers, preferably younger. I've had many grouchy females but only had trouble with one man, ever. Second, I make sure I am so ready that it's ridiculous: coupons in order, children contained, items on the belt in a timely matter, etc. Third, I am friendly. I think this one makes a huge difference. I will also apologize to anyone in line behind me who has to wait longer because of my coupons and thank both the cashier and other customers for their patience. I usually know going in which stores I will have trouble with... Everyone at my CVS knows me and goes out of their way to be helpful and kind! They know me by name there :) I even took some homemade buckeyes to the employees of my CVS at Thanksgiving, since I felt awful to be shopping there on a day when they should have been with their families! I've had the same experience with Meijer, extremely helpful and friendly - if sometimes a little confused, but if there's been a problem I've just gone to their customer service desk and they've taken care of me right away (with a smile)! Target is hit or miss: either super great or terrible. My worst experiences have been with Kroger, including a manager calling me in response to them refusing a legitimate coupon to tell me that their coupon policy is, "we don't accept a coupon if it makes the item too cheap." (YES, that is a direct quote! Ha!) She also admitted that they should have accepted the coupon in question but did not offer to do anything to correct their error. I avoid Walmart altogether because I can't stand that place without coupons, can't imagine what it'd be like with coupons!

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47 Michelle May 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Walgreen--the one by my house has the nicest lady who even gives me some extra coupons that she keeps under the register & she loves how I know how to save so much money. Now the Walgreen by my work~ a whole different story--I actually caught her taking my coupons 2 at a time and only scanning the top one!! When I asked her about it, she said--well I don't even care--I told her perhaps if she clipped more coupons she wouldn't have to work so much and wouldn't be so grumpy to people like me who are shopping in the store and paying her salary. I actually had to turn her in to the manager which I would not usually do. But she was soooo rude. Now I get all the coupons I can just so I can go to her reigster!!!!

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48 Jennifer May 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm

OMG Jill! You said it all..."I avoid Walmart altogether because I can't stand that place without coupons, can't imagine what it'd be like with coupons!" That is the coolest thing I've heard all week! And I feel 1000% the same way!!! LOL!!!

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49 Deb May 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I am a Christian so I try to live by Phillipians 2:3-4. Most cashiers are nice people who either a) don't know the store policy or b) don't know how to make the cash register do what they want it to do. I have found that a humble quiet approach works best. Sometimes they have to think it through and figure it out. Nobody wants to be yelled at or humiliated in front of their boss. I worked retail in high school and their suspicion is not unwarranted, there are plenty of people out there attempting to defraud major retailers.

I am thankful that I can stay home with my children and don't have to work as a cashier to support my family so I try to extend graciousness to them. I mean if I am having a bad day, don't I expect my husband, kids, friends, etc. to do that to me?

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50 LindaB May 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I have a certain cashier that I have called the Walgreens Corporate office three times over. She seemed friendly enough but when I handed her an IP coupon she says "we don't take 'copied' coupons." I corrected her and told her that this was an internet printable coupon and I would never copy any coupon because it isn't legal. She calls over a manager who tells me the same thing...what?!*&! Walgreens managers aren't even properly trained on coupons. They don't know the difference between and IP and a copied Q...!?*&! I called and emailed their corporate office. The store manager calls me the next day to apologize but insisted that they no longer take home printed coupons....what?!*&! We discussed this matter over 30 minutes nicely at first but then it grew more intense with him finally agreeing to post their 'new' policy as you walk into the store...it never happened. I went back this time with a Q from an insert. Same cashier took the Q but when I handed her my $20.00 bill to pay she held it up to the light and studied it for over 30 seconds...like I had printed it off too. (Guess they now considered this 55 year old-grandma a counterfeiter!) I called and emailed again, again the store manager calls me to apologize. I cancelled all my prescriptions after this call. I went again to the same cashier who smiled smuggly at me when I got to her register. She then scanned each of my insert coupons for dates, checked the items to see if I had the right items etc...then I used my debit card to avoid her checking my cash over like it wasn't real. She was trying to make me mad...didn't bother me. I called Walgreen's Corporate office again, but this time wrote a letter telling about her rude behavior. I also told them how much I now appreciate CVS and their skilled employees and how much they appreciate my business. A stark contrast to their own customer service and under-trained employees. Got another call from the store manager...we're not friends but he sure knows me now! I'll keep going in and I'll keep complaining if I get bad service just to let them know I can. I'm not going to let their rude and unskilled behavior ruin my hard work and dedication to getting good deals there. I am going to get the best deals I can find with my hard earned dollars but most of my money is spent elsewhere now.

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51 c July 3, 2011 at 4:30 am

who cares if they check your bills. its their policy. get over it. they have to do it to everyone, not just the black guys.

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52 Patricia May 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I always always be extra nice from the beginning. Asking a simple "How are you today" can really change the mood of a cashier. Even from the way I arrange my groceries as I put them on the counter. I made sure everything is organized so that it'll be easy for them to bag. Then I will always tell the cashier that I will have a few coupons with me. When I do have the BOGO coupons, I usually will put the coupon on top of the item so that it will be easy for them to enter the price. My greatest "weapon", my 19 mo old daughter in her pigtails! She would say hi and bye to everyone. I think when people see I have a toddler to feed it kinda justify the fact that I took a longer when checking out because of my coupons.

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53 Erin May 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I'm so glad you brought this up! I've had a few cashiers get mad at me because I was getting the product for free. Hello Target cashier, this doesn't come out of your check so why the grief?!? And I can't tell you how many times I've been to CVS to do the same exact transaction but depending on the cashier, came out with different outcomes.

As a big couponer, I always do my homework. I make sure I have the right product for the coupon and for $ off purchases, I usually calculate the amount in advance. If the cashier questions me I calmly explain to her my process so that she can understand. If need be, I will wait for a manager to help. I've found that often they realize I won't give up so they "give in" even though I am doing everything correctly and legally. I used to feel embarassed for talking about a 50 cent difference or for holding up the line, but I'm doing everything right so I realized that I have nothing to feel guilty about.

Having the coupon policy with me as helped a few times but sometimes I just go to another location or try another day with a different cashier.

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54 Jenna May 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I have only had a major prob with Meijer...but that was with management. Now the only things I buy there are free or great deals. I have a few cashiers there that love my son and put up with my coupons. I do my normal groceries (items I need ASAP and no sale) at Kroger where the same man works the U-scan throughout the week. He's been there since I was prego and my son is now almost 19 months old. I try to hit CVS, Wag, and Rite Aid first thing Sunday morning if there are deals I'm like to get. The same cashiers work at all three stores and know my son and me. It was fun when my mom visited a few months back taking her with me to get some of my deals and introducing her to them ;)

I've come to find just smiling and be confident (b/c you made sure all was legit with your #, Q's, policies).

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55 Amy May 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

i have usually never had a problem with targets until this past week... i have been denied coupons because they dont undersand how to read a coupon... when it says use 1 coupon per item purchased it doesnt mean "1 per transaction per person per day" like the supervisor told me... I called corporate and they said that the stores have the right to limit the number of items sold... he didnt limit the items sold... i could still buy 4 of 1 thing, but i was only able to use 1 coupon ... this has all happened in the past week. i can understand limiting the printed coupons - but when someone goes and buys a sunday paper or two just for the coupons at 1.50 each, im sure they are not counterfiting or forging them... i was told my scrubbing bubbles coupons were bogus by a couple cashiers... i keep trying, just like corporates email said... and...go from there...

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56 Lori L May 20, 2010 at 2:13 pm

HI everyone!
This is driving me crazy & I have to go to WalMart tomorrow to return a few items. Now, after reading all of this, I'm scared. I believe my returns (with receipt, of course) will actually come out to be more than what I paid OOP. I had a ton of food Qs that day & the items that I'm returning are health & beauty & automotive. There is a very grumpy mgr & lady at the svc desk.
DOES KNOW HOW THIS WORKS:
I have to return a few non-food items from last week. What is the policy of returning with a receipt, but a coupon may have been used on it? Walmart's Qs are at the end of the receipt, not itemized like Target. Quite frankly, I don't remember what had a Q & what didn't. I just know that I had a lot of Qs that day with a hefty savings.
THANKS to everyone for sharing! It's great to know I'm not alone on this couponing adventure!

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57 rydergal May 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm

You'll get back the full purchase price of the items. The store has turned in the coupons, and will still be reimbursed from the manufacturer for them, so they won't factor into your return at all.

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58 laine May 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

If you think they will say something about getting more back than you spent...take part of it back and then the rest later.

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